The Pantanal Biosphere Reserve includes the Chapada dos Guimarães, Serra da Bodoquena, Pantanal Matogrossense, and Emas national parks. It covers the headwaters that comprise Brazil's Pantanal region, one of the world's most extensive wetland complexes.
Pantanal Biosphere Reserve
The Pantanal Biosphere Reserve comprises the Brazilian states of Mato Grosso, Matto Grosso do Sul and a small portion of Goiás. It covers the headwaters of the rivers that make up the Pantanal region, one of the world's most extensive wetland complexes and internationally known for its large bird, mammal, reptile, fish, insect and amphibian populations.
The following protected areas lie within the Pantanal Biosphere Reserve:
Chapada dos Guimarães National Park is located in Mato Grosso, Brazil. It is a region of rugged terrain with dramatic cliffs and waterfalls and contains the geographical center of the continent. It has an area of 32,630 ha (80,600 acres). Large hills and red sandstone cliffs characterize the terrain of the park.
Fauna includes the jaguar, pampas deer, howler monkey, tapir, giant anteater, giant armadillo, maned wolf, emu and seriema. Parrots, swifts and red macaws nest in the sandstone cliffs. The park is threatened by fires in the cold, dry and windy period of the year, often caused by human activities near or inside the park.
Serra da Bodoquena National Park is located in Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil. The park belongs to the cerrado biome. It covers an area of 77,022 ha (190,330 acres).
Emas National Park (also part of the Cerrado Protected Areas World Heritage Site) is located between the states of Goiás and Mato Grosso do Sul in the Central-West Region of Brazil. It covers 1,320 sq km (510 sq mi) of treeless cerrado savannah.
Pantanal Matogrossense National Park is located in Mato Grosso and Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil. It has an area of 135,606 ha (335,090 acres) and belongs to the Pantanal biome. The National Park is also part of the Pantanal Conservation Area, a World Heritage Site.
The Pantanal Biosphere Reserve encompasses highlands and lowlands, from the large lakes on the border with Bolivia, flood plains, grasslands and highland cerrado in the Chapada dos Guimarães, Serra de Santa Bárbara and Urucum mountains, with summits of 1,000 m (3,280 ft) asl.
Other notable ecosystems within the Pantanal Biosphere Reserve are the seasonally flooded Cerrado, highland grasslands, seasonally flooded grasslands, cerradão (forest-like cerrado), deciduous forests, gallery forests, Buriti palm stands, Amazon like-forest, Atlantic Forest influenced forest, Chaco and Chaco forest.
There is a strong link between traditional rural human populations and the environment. More than 2,800,000 inhabitants live within the Biosphere Reserve. Extensive cattle grazing is the major economic activity practiced widely over most of the lowlands.